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This Developer Blog is copied verbatim from the RuneScape website. It is copyrighted by Jagex.
It is written by Mod Mark and is dated 31 January 2014.
RuneScape Combat - Old vs New

I thought it was about time I posted about a subject very close to my heart –Old vs New. In particular, I'd like to talk about the huge changes that came to the game with RS3 and the Evolution of Combat, and how we intend to provide for those of you who want all today's updates and benefits, along with the old-style RuneScape you know and love.

Updating the game

For the past 2 years we've been updating RuneScape dramatically to make our long lasting, 13-year-old game more engaging for today's gamer - in particular, bringing the old combat system up to date. The feedback we've had from new players on the Evolution of Combat - as well as the new tutorial, customisable game screen and more - has been excellent, and we're very proud of the progress we've made since the EoC's release.

However, there's always a problem when trying to cater for an existing community while also attracting new players. RuneScape would be nothing without our loyal veteran players, and the reality is that many of you don't want change. You'd mastered the old combat system, and - for all the flaws we saw in it as game designers - it was yours, and the last thing you wanted was for it to be removed. For that, I apologise. We honestly thought we were making the game better for everyone, but making changes - however positive - isn't what everybody wants.

We've already provided the Old School game, but the solution is far from ideal - splitting our community up on separate servers. It's clear that we need to find another way - a solution where the whole RuneScape community is catered for, with everyone playing the same game together.

Legacy Mode

After a few weeks of speculative research and months of discussion, we think we have found a way of giving you back almost all of the 2012 combat experience: something we're currently calling Legacy Mode. With this, we believe that we can deliver 90% of the old combat gameplay, special attacks and the old game screens as an option that exists as a part of the new game, allowing players alongside each other on the same server to use the system that best suits them.

We know it can't be exactly the same, but were darn sure that it can feel almost identical.

We'll be putting this to a vote through the Power to the Players poll system very soon. There will be challenges along the way, but it is our intention, if the vote passes, to work with you on the beta servers to get this right. We want you to tell us when it's ready! I'll be completely honest- it will be a fair amount of work, and we'll need to commit a significant portion of our resources to its completion, but we wouldn't even be talking about if it couldn't be done.

Once we have something working, we plan to use further polls - run specifically on the beta worlds - to decide how things will work, making each player who participates a decision maker.

This won't mean we are neglecting the newer changes – far from it. Whether the vote passes or not, we are committed to continue to improve the new features to the game. While in 2013 we brought you experiences that proved how awesome the new game can be, we didn't react quickly to your feedback about the basic systems. You may have noticed that we are already doing that and again, we intend to work with you on the beta servers to make those changes the best they can be.

We made the mistake in the past of making these changes without you: we won't be doing that again. The new Power to the Players poll system gives us the perfect tool to get accurate feedback and we look forward to seeing the direction you want us to take. The power is well and truly in your hands.

Thanks for reading.

Mod Mark

Design Director - RuneScape

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